Bible Society of South Africa

Grace: Living grace – 8 November 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

3Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.

Philippians 2:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Regardless of who we are, everyone has a comfort zone that keeps us insulated against things that could ruffle our feathers and keeps us how we like to be – comfortable, secure and in control. We prefer to remain there, relaxed and undisturbed; but God didn’t create us for that. His purpose for us is “abundant life” (John 10:10) starting with fellowship with Him and caring about others.

Sometimes, however, we’re slow to understand and it’s only when something immense happens, and we see things in a different light, that a nobler spirit emerges and we forget about ourselves, and our feelings, to hear that higher calling.

It was very touching to see the grace demonstrated by Britain’s Royal Family throughout the public sharing of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service. Not only was it a profound expression of her personal faith, which offered a deeply spiritual experience for those taking part, whether present or faraway, but what was evident was that a family deeply mourning their beloved mother and grandmother had graciously allowed the outside world into their sorrow, to mourn with them.

They went further, in the spirit of Jesus’ words, (Matthew 5:41) as they kindly welcomed those who were not part of their family, at the expense of their emotions and personal space. They chose to “value others above (them)selves” at this poignant time, to include all.

Choosing the interests of others above our own means choosing to live the grace we see in Jesus, rather than favouring our own insensitive, sometimes wilful, ways. Paul exhorts the Philippians in their relationships to, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, … made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7)

What must it have taken for God, in Jesus Christ, to leave the magnificence of heaven and all that it signified for Him, to come to earth? A mission of love of immense proportions: the redemption of a lost world.

“He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant… he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Grace was Jesus’ prime mission; He gave his all.

He’d long seen the bondage of people unable to fulfil the demands of the Law. He, alone, could pay the price to free them and, through this noblest, richest form of love, save all lost and give hope to all mankind by dying and rising again.

Can we remain in our comfort zones?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for not staying in your comfort zone, but for becoming the sacrifice for our sins, personifying grace to us through your compassion and acceptance of us. Thank you for your forgiveness and redemption. Please give me grace to love you and to humbly serve others too. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.11
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